While contact centers are accessing new options for software through Software as a Service (SaaS), reducing costs and adding scalability, some of the fundamentals of software have remained the same. The cloud hasn’t changed the limitation of software in that once a developer puts certain features in place, it affects the solution’s uses far into the future.
Developers make decisions that impact end users, and if they want a feature that isn’t included in the design, they are forced to wait for it to be added, find a different solution, or pay for customization.
Some choose the application programming interface (API) route, which allows for extensive creativity and the ability to build customized software. The challenge is that this approach requires a high level of knowledge, domain expertise and time. For contact centers in particular, the API approach can be complex and time-consuming.
The cloud is introducing a new way of customizing software solutions that is pre-assembled but also allows for the ability to customize by changing components. This technology is referred to as the application platform.
The current situation: In order to improve the customer experience, there’s a need for the evolution of the contact center. Agents and managers need to be able to access and utilize data in a user-friendly interface. For larger and more complex contact centers, this need to integrate data is more pronounced, and the challenges related to customization often make it harder for large contact centers to move to a cloud solution.
With enough time and money, these large contact centers can customize a solution, but there’s also a need for flexibility and agility to implement new features quickly. For instance, if a contact center wants to conduct A/B testing, but option A requires several months of customization work from in-house developers, innovation comes at a high price.
Getting beyond the build versus buy mindset: The application platform is not a type of SaaS, but it is also not a platform centered on APIs. Instead, it offers a unique solution. It can be considered both an application and a platform. For those that want to buy a contact center solution off the shelf, it’s a buy option. For those that want to build a customized solution, it also is a good fit.
An application platform is integrated into the enterprise like an on-premise system, but its deployment more closely resembles a SaaS implementation. It can be customized easily like a web platform – allowing you to introduce changes quickly. As contact centers are finding that they need more options than choosing between a box solution and one loaded with customization costs, the application platform will provide the agility and flexibility required.
The cloud is delivering new opportunities and improved customer experiences by driving the evolution of the contact center with high-level data integration. To learn more about the emerging application platform technology and how it can benefit your contact center, contact us at VoIP Innovations.